EC missive to poll-bound states on holiday on election day
New Delhi: Employees of government and other establishments, including private, in all poll-bound states will get a paid holiday on the day of election.
"I am directed to invite your attention to Section 135B of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 which provides for the grant of paid holiday to the employees on the day of poll," said an Election Commission order to chief secretaries of poll-bound states.
The EC said the provisions require that all establishments and shops including those which work on shift basis shall be closed on the day of poll in the constituency where a general or bye-election is to be held.
"However, there may be cases where a person is ordinarily resident of the constituency and registered as an elector, may be serving/employed in an industrial undertaking or an establishment located outside the constituency having a general/bye-election.
"It is clarified that in such a situation, even those electors including casual workers working outside the constituency concerned would be entitled to the benefit of a paid holiday extended under Section 135B(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951," the EC said.
It added that the daily wage or casual workers are also entitled for a holiday and wages on poll day as provided in Section 135B of the Act.
"The Commission desired that suitable instructions should be issued to all concerned and a copy thereof be endorsed to the commission for its information and record," it said.
According to Section 135B, "Every person employed in any business trade, industrial undertaking or any other establishment and entitled to vote at election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of a state shall, on the day of poll, be granted a holiday."
It adds that, "No deduction or abatement of the wages of any such person shall be made on account of a holiday having been granted in accordance with sub-section (l) and if such person is employed on the basis that he would not ordinarily receive wages for such a day, he shall nonetheless be paid for such day the wages he would have drawn had not a holiday been granted to him on that day."
It also says, "If an employer contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), then such employer shall be punishable with fine, which may extend to Rs 500."
The sections says it shall not apply to any elector whose absence may cause danger or substantial loss in respect of the employment in which he is engaged.
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